|The City of Loveland’s modified Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) went in effect noon, Saturday, May 9. For those unfamiliar with what a DORA is, in a nutshell, it permits people to purchase an alcoholic beverage from a local business and consume it outside the liquor establishment provided it is within a specific cup and within specific boundaries. You may not bring your own alcohol; it must be purchased from a DORA establishment.
Previously, the DORA was in effect only during specific events, e.g. July 4, Saint Patrick’s Day, and New Year’s Eve. Through the adoption of legislation on April 28, 2020 by City Council, and authorized by the City Manager, the DORA is now in effect seven days a week, from noon to 11:00 p.m. This modification runs for a period of sixty days, with the option of an additional sixty-day extension.
Why did City Council and the City Manager take this action? Quite simply to help our downtown restaurants recover from the impact of the restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. By modifying the DORA legislation, the City has expanded the outdoor seating area of each of our downtown restaurants and bars to an area that now includes the boundaries of the DORA. As restaurants begin to slowly re-open, they will have limited occupancy. With the amended DORA, restaurants will be able to serve more customers as they will have the option to order food and an alcoholic beverage and utilize various seating areas located within the DORA boundaries.
Although unanticipated congregation along portions of West Loveland clearly occurred on the opening of the modified DORA hours, all in all it was a success for our restaurants and our visitors. Also, it is very apparent that we (city staff) needed to make additional modifications to better encourage social distancing while within the DORA boundaries. As we approach our second weekend with the modified DORA in place, the City has further expanded outdoor seating areas to include the front lawn of City Hall and has secured additional signage to remind visitors to avoid congregating. Also, some businesses along West Loveland Avenue are modifying how they will be serving their customers to provide for better social distancing.
While the modification of the DORA is a positive for the businesses and a welcome escape for so many that have been staying close to home, the City cannot emphasize enough how important it is that visitors to our beautiful downtown district practice social distancing. It is also important to note that all rules regarding the DORA remain in place and we encourage anyone with questions, to please go to our website for more information about the DORA by clicking here.